Top 10 U.S. cities with the worst traffic delays

The United States is home to some of the most congested cities in the world. Yet, some cities have not returned to their pre-COVID levels.In contrast, others have more traffic congestion and delays than before the pandemic, according to the Global Traffic Scorecard report by INRIX, a transportation analytics company, released earlier this year.”High levels of travel demands in these dense areas and limited supply in terms of road infrastructure is what causes traffic congestion,” Bob Pishue, a transportation analyst at INRIX, tells CNBC Make It.According to the 2023 report, the typical driver in the country lost 51 hours in congestion in 2022, up 15 hours from 2021, costing the average driver $869 in lost time. Nationally, drivers spent 4.8 billion hours in congestion, which is still short of 2019’s 6 billion lost hours.Of the cities ranked Chicago and Miami now have more traffic congestion and delays than they did pre-Covid, while Boston, New York, and Los Angeles have yet to catch up.”These are all very dense areas and you have a lot of people concentrated in a relatively small amount of space and because of those high densities, there’s a lot of travel demand,” Pishue said.When you’re in the moment congestion might seem bad, but Pishue says it’s a sign of a good economy.”Congestion shows that the economy is moving. Traffic is a problem, but it’s reflective of people going to the office, running errands, shopping, visiting relatives, which are all good things.”Chicago is the No. 1 U.S. city with the most traffic delays.Andrey Denisyuk | Moment | Getty ImagesNo. 1 U.S. city with the worst traffic: Chicago, ILChicago ranked as the U.S. city with the highest traffic delays in 2022. On a global scale, the Illinois city ranked No. 2, after London in the United Kingdom.In Chicago, drivers lost 155 hours in 2022. According to the report, it now has more traffic congestion and delays than it did pre-Covid.”We saw a lot of people get back into their cars. Based on Chicago travel patterns, it caused caught a bit of congestion last year,” Pishue said.The city is home to iconic places like the Chicago Riverwalk, Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), Grant Park, and the famous baseball stadium, which is also home to the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field.Top 10 U.S. cities with the worst trafficChicago, Ill.Boston, Mass.New York City, N.Y.Philadelphia, Pa.Miami, Fla.Los Angeles, Calif.San Francisco, Calif.Washington D.C.Houston, TexasAtlanta, Ga.After Chicago, Boston is the U.S. city with the highest traffic delays. Although the frequency of Chicago’s traffic delays has increased, Boston still lags at 2019 levels.In Boston, drivers lost 134 hours compared to 78 in 2021. In 2022, the traffic delays cost drivers $2,270 in the Massachusetts capital and the city an overall amount of $4.3 billion.Boston is home to the famous Fenway Park, the Boston Public Library, and the Boston Commons, the oldest park in the United States. The city is also close to prestigious college campuses like Harvard and MIT, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Drivers in Boston lost 134 hours in 2022 thanks to traffic delays, according to INRIX.Andrey Denisyuk | Moment | Getty ImagesRounding out the top three is New York City. In NYC, drivers lost 117 hours in traffic delays, compared to 102 in 2021. These delays cost the average driver $1,976 and the city $10.2 billion, according to the INRIX report.Although New York City ranked in the top three, the traffic delays in the city still haven’t surpassed pre-Covid levels. According to the report, the typical New York City driver’s commute increased by an additional $213 in 2022.”The top cities have a very traditional commuting pattern, live in the suburbs, and go downtown to work. For example, 20% of regional jobs in New York are downtown. Due to those patterns and where people start and end their trip, it can also add to congestion, especially on those key commuter routes,” Pushie said.New York City is home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, and the iconic Statue of Liberty.DON’T MISS: Want to be smarter and more successful with your money, work & life? Sign up for our new newsletter!Get CNBC’s free Warren Buffett Guide to Investing, which distills the billionaire’s No. 1 best piece of advice for regular investors, do’s and don’ts, and three key investing principles into a clear and simple guidebook.

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